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West Brownsville state-bound

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002 12:00 am

By James Beltran

The Brownsville Herald

The team was assembled with no greater ambition than to have fun.

But now, after winning the district and sectional tournaments, the West

Brownsville All-Stars realize they have an opportunity to achieve baseball

greatness.

This weekend in Waco, they begin their quest for a little league state title

in the 9, 10-year-old division.

We do expect it to be (challenging), head coach Amadeo Rodriguez said of the

state tournament. It will be just like this past weekend (in sectionals). We

had a lot of tough games. But with my coaches, I think were going to come

through.

Eight teams earned berths to the tournament, which is divided into two

four-team pools. Each squad plays a round-robin schedule within its pool, and

the top team from each group earns a spot in the championship.

West sends Chris Buitron to the mound at 7 p.m. Friday in its first game at

Norcross Stadium. The opponent is unknown.

West is also scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Saturday and at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Any tiebreakers will be played Monday, and the championship game will be

Tuesday.

No matter the result, assistant coach Victor Landin is proud of the teams

accomplishments.

We really didnt think it was going to be a really strong team, said Landin,

who coached West through some games while Rodriguez recovered from medical

complications. We didnt know what to compare it to.

But the kids have done well. Theyve really come through.

West strolled through the district round with a 5-0 record, but opened the

sectional tournament with a lopsided loss to Laredo.

It recovered with three straight wins, including a 3-2 win over Laredo in the

sectional championship that secured Wests first state tournament berth in the

9, 10-year-old division.

We did encounter some pretty fast (throwing) pitchers, Landin said. Laredo

and Corpus had a really good pitcher. Through district, (Brownsville) South

was really strong. North had a good pitcher. But we were able to make the

plays.

I think we really have produced because of the bunting capabilities that we

have. We have three different ways that we can bunt. The teams we play

against, very few of them even tried it. And when we would bunt, they had a

hard time defending it.

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